Grapplers are consistently on top as wrestling season continues

In another strong week, the Vashon wrestling team competed in its first Nisqually League dual meet against Eatonville on Thursday and finished the week with grueling action at the always-tough Justin Norton Memorial Tournament in Rainier on Saturday.

The Thursday night partisan crowd saw some great action as the Pirates beat the Cruisers, 52-17. Several forfeits contributed to the win, with the team splitting the actual matches wrestled, winning four and losing four.

Winning for the Pirates were Bryce Hoisington, Chester Pruett, Shane Armstrong and Louis Jovanovich. The Pirates also fared well in the exhibition round, with Peter Wolczko, Andrew Wittwer, Marquis Stendahl and Ian McWhirter each winning a match.

On Saturday the squad split up, with 11 varsity wrestlers going to Rainier High School for a tournament that is a precursor to the state tournament in February and junior varsity wrestlers attending a different meet.

Everything went smoothly at Rainier High until senior Shane Armstrong broke a finger in the first round of his first match.

The remaining 10 team members wrestled well, taking fifth place overall out of 16 teams. Of the 10, eight finished in the medals. Champions were Chase Wickman and Preston Morris; second went to sophomore Logan Nelson; thirds to heavyweights Joe Coller and Louis Jovanovich; fifth-place finishes went to Clyde Pruett, Chester Pruett and Franklin Easton.

Matches of the day go Preston Morris, who went into the event as the number-one seed in the 195-pound weight class and proceeded to absolutely dominate the event. He won his three matches, all by fall, all in the first round.

Two Pirates, Wickman and Armstrong, were invited to compete with the West Coast Elite Wrestling team in a match with the Japan National Team. Action was Monday, Jan. 13, at Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way, and results were after press time.

This week the Pirates have a little down time to rest and recuperate. They will travel to Bellevue Christian for dual meet action on Thursday and then enjoy a rare weekend off before making the final push toward the end of the season.

— Cheryl Pruett is the mother of two Pirate wrestlers.

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